My friend was having a conversation with a man who didn’t have much good to say about the Christian faith. My friend knew that if he were to sound too “religious,” he would jeopardize any chance to witness. So, in the middle of their discussion, he said, “Hey, Bob, do you know where sinners go?”
“That’s easy,” he replied. “You’re going to tell me they go to hell.”
“No,” my friend responded. “They go to church.”
Bob was speechless. That wasn’t what he expected. He wasn’t ready to hear from a Christian who realized he wasn’t perfect. My friend had a chance to share that Christians understand their sinfulness and their need for continual spiritual restoration. He was able to explain grace—the unmerited favor we have with God despite our sinfulness (Rom. 5:8-9; Eph. 2:8-9).
Perhaps we don’t give those outside the church a clear picture of what’s happening inside. They may not understand that we’re there to praise our Savior for providing “redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:14).
Yes, sinners go to church. And sinners—forgiven ones—go to heaven because of God’s grace.
For Christ is our righteousness, Lord, and our Savior;
No justification for sin can we offer,
Yet sanctified fully, we’re now His forever. —Lee